Our Gay Dresden City Weekend in Saxony | Germany
A Gay Couple City Weekend Dresden – Back to roots: the gay couple visiting Karl’s hometown feels always like a gay travel back in time. Not only because of the baroque beauty of Dresden’s architecture monuments like the Zwinger, Castle of Dresden, or the uncountable art treasures in the Eastern German City.
A small but lively gay community, many bars, cafés and restaurants and of course, the river Elbe creating this very special Italian city flair, even in Germany. Once a year Dresden turns into the gay capital of Saxony when thousands of LGBTQ+ and spectators walking all together for equality and human rights for everyone on CSD Dresden (German GayPride festival). A perfect chance to try the taste of a Gay Couple City Weekend Dresden. Enjoy our first article about a Gay City Trip Dresden and see the beauty of the city by the River Elbe through a Couple of Men‘s eyes!
Gay City Trip: Perfect Summer days in Dresden
The weather was simply amazing during our Gay Couple City Trip Dresden although it was during the heat period the last summer with unusually hot temperatures. We decided to make the best out of it by doing some cooling activities: sightseeing in cooling churches, a refreshing park walk, and the museum of hygiene. Of hygiene?
1. How to travel to Dresden (from Amsterdam)?
Waiting is over: KLM connects Amsterdam and Dresden with direct flights from the whole world via Amsterdam Schiphol in just a little more than 1 hour. Give it a try, the prices are spectacular good! But don’t forget about further options for a trip to the East German Capital, to travel either way by train or plane or even by bus. The easiest way by train is the 2-hour connection from Berlin or the 4,5 hours connection from Frankfurt am Main.
Most of the time you need to change trains by Deutsche Bahn at least once or twice. Thanks to the comfortable direct connection to Dresden City Centre by city train, called S-Bahn in about 30 minutes. Departing underneath the airport, your ways are really short with an amazing view over the city while riding the train.
Our favorite airline KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offers flights from €119* to Dresden. A special tip for German LGBTQ+ travelers: SkyTeam member KLM Royal Dutch Airlines with their modern fleet brings you comfortably and quickly from 10 German Airports via Amsterdam-Schiphol, the KLM hub, to over 160 destinations around the globe. *subject to availability / last check: October 2019
2. When is the perfect time for a Dresden visit?
There is actually no season where you cannot go. We prefer the time in summer and winter. Why? The summertime in Dresden is full of diverse, almost weekly celebrations and festivals in and around the city. And in wintertime, Dresden turns into a winter wonderland with Germany’s oldest Christmas Market since 1434, the “Dresden Striezelmarkt”.
3. Where to stay in Dresden, or: does it matter?
There are plenty of hotels and hostels available in Dresden, that are well located with friendly and well educated working there. Most of the city is moreover within a walking distance about 10-30 minutes from one end to the other of the city center area. My favorite area to stay in the “Dresden Neustadt” (Newtown), which is the part north of the river “Elbe” cutting the city into 2 parts. If you prefer to stay close to the baroque architecture I can recommend a stay in one of the new hotels in the rebuilt houses in the Dresden Altstadt (old town) south the river Elbe. Our choice for our stay this time: the 5*-Hyperion Dresden am Schloß in Dresden Altstadt. We truly can say, it was a good choice.
Sights in Dresden: Some of our favorites
The Landmark of Dresden – Dresdner Frauenkirche
I still remember the days when the Dresden city center around the new market looked like a battleground with mountains of stones. Today the area “Neustädter Markt” shines in its original splendor with the Church of our Lady as its center. The restored and rebuilt square is today full of tourists, busy cafes, and street performers surrounded by beautiful architecture and a lot of unique museums. This special atmosphere doesn’t give any apparent about its past during the time of isolation in the (east) German Democracy Republic. Go and have a look inside the rebuilt Church of our Lady, simply stunning. Our Tip: free entrance while normal opening hours
Deutsches Hygiene and other Museums:
The “Deutsches Hygiene-Museum” (Engl. German Hygiene Museum) is only one of over 50 museums that Dresden has to offer and at the same time one of my favorite buildings in the city. It was built in 1912 as part of a program to educate and improve the hygiene of all inhabitants of Dresden. Although it was misappropriated by the Nazis for their racial ideology and propaganda, today it is a place to discover exhibitions about health, hygiene, and traveling exhibitions concerning similar topics. During our Gay City Trip Dresden this summer we were able to visit the beautiful exhibition about friendship in all kinds of social and political relations: interesting, eye-opening, and cooling! 😉 Our tip: a ticket is valid for 2 days in a row. For the current Exhibition click here!
Park “Der Große Garten” (“Big Garden”) – The lung of Dresden.
Back in the heat of the late afternoon, we took a long walk through Dresden’s biggest Park, “Großer Garten”. The warm colors of the afternoon summer sun and a large number of dry, falling leaves created a very different atmosphere, more like the end of October instead of the mid/end of August. In the center of the park, we discovered a hidden treasure of the city: “das Palais im Großen Garten” (the Palais of the Big Garden), one of the architectural main pieces of the Saxon Baroque. Our Tip: visit the sculpture exhibition on the ground floor of the Palais & take a trip round with miniature park train!
Where to go for dinner in Dresden?
Well.. if there is anything you don’t have to worry about, it is food. You will find regional specialties in a mix with Italian, vegetarian, and international food, affordable and delicious. Just give the next restaurant a try. Here are two tips for some main areas with restaurants and bars in Dresden. Roughly seen you can divide Dresden into 2 big food places although there are plenty of hidden spots everywhere in the city.
My hidden vegetarian hot spot of Dresden – brennNessel.
A big variety of Schorle (because Saxon people like to mix their drinks), local beer and delicious, homemade vegetarian and vegan food, that’s the diverse menu of the restaurant brennNessel. I can highly recommend this little place a 10 min walk away from the famous Zwinger. TIP: Don’t forget to make a reservation!
In the „Dresden Neustadt“ (Engl. Newtown)
you will find the most exotic restaurants and hip places to go like the Suppenbar, Burgermeister, or similar restaurants. Our tip for breakfast or a coffee in my favorite Café “Kalter Hund – Kaffee und Kuchen” at Louisenstraße 61 in 01099 Dresden. Delicious self-made cookies and cakes in a unique ambiance. I really love that place especially with the small and lovely dog Stefan! 😀
Or: DO IT LIKE A real Dresden Neustädter for dinner: buy a Döner (kebab) and a Saxon Beer and walk north to the Alaunpark where you can sit, laugh and eat with a big potpourri of people, cultures, and ways of enjoying life.
Old Town part of Dresden – die Weiße Gasse.
This time, we met 2 of my best friends for some real homemade Italian pasta at Mamma Mia in the second nicest place to eat in Dresden (at least for me). Slightly more touristic but just simply with a more grown-up audience, to the „Weiße Gasse“ (White street) and the area around. We spent hours with beer, storytelling, and laughing. Doreen and Martin, you are always with me.
Dresdner Filmnächte: Movie Nights with spectacular views
Any evening plans while visiting Dresden? What about a movie night outside close to the riverside with the world-famous Elbe panorama of the Dresden Altstadt in the background? Sounds unbelievable? Not at all! For me a must-do every summer in Dresden: a movie or concert at the so-called “Dresdner Film- & Elbnächte” (Movie nights at riverside Elbe). A big screen, amazing view, and a great selection of old and contemporary movies combined with the sound of Dresden at night. Unforgettable Dresden memories!
Is Dresden a gay-friendly city?
Let me try to explain it like this: Dresden is not the easiest place to be for the gay community. It is quite difficult for regular parties, local bars, and clubs to survive for a longer period. Although the small community is quite active and the annual pride for the size of the city quite successful, the inhabitants of Dresden are shy, conservative, and afraid of unknown and new things reaching their city. But the gay community is alive and exceptions are possible of course! See here the places to go and to find the gay guys on your Gay Couple City Weekend in Dresden:
Gay Bars, Clubs & Sauna in Dresden
- gay bar “Boys” at Alaunstraße 80, 01099 Dresden
- gay bar “SAXXIM” at Görlitzer Str. 2b, 01099 Dresden
- gay café and bar “Valentino” at Jordan Straße 2, 01099 Dresden
- gay leather club and bar “Bunker” at Prißnitzstraße 51, 01099 Dresden
- gay sauna “Paradise” at Friedensstraße 45, 01097 Dresden
- gay community with help and tips from locals “Gerede homo, bi & trans e.V.“
Gay Pride Weekend in Dresden (CSD)
At least once a year the capital of Saxony transforms into a gay capital, when thousands of LGBTs, families, and friends walking together for equality, LGBT support, and an open-minded free way of living together in this beautiful city. Every year, the Pride Weekend (CSD Dresden Wochenende) will take place on a weekend in early summer (June) as one of the first CSD and Pride celebrations in Germany. Even our gay travel buddies and friends, the twobadtourists visited the gay pride in Dresden in 2014 and had a closer look at the small but active gay community of Dresden. Have a closer look at the gay travel blog article about a pride visit (local named CSD for Christopher Street Day) here: Gay Dresden CSD by twobadtourists.
Gay Dresden City Trip – The Capital of Saxony
Our Gay Citytrip Dresden ended after 4 days with a beautiful time with friends, family, and some gays of Dresden. I really do love my home city Dresden and although I am gay and we are a gay couple a trip to Dresden is not dangerous at all. Just be aware that most people lived more than 40 years isolated in a socialistic country where it was not easy at all for new things and information across borders. Being gay is not new, but living it open and fearless is!
Please consider our information as suggestions with no guarantee that it still will be like that when you are traveling there. Though we did our research and all our opinions written in this Gay Germany Travel Guide are honest, authentic, and true. If you have any questions about your plans for traveling to Germany, send us an email or follow us along and drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram. See you around the world and the next time in Berlin, Hamburg, and Germany! Enjoy Dresden!
Karl & Daan.